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Ombudsman absolves Aquino, Trillanes of treason charges

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, June 19th, 2017


Courtesy: Photoville International

Courtesy: Photoville International/ Willie Sy


MANILA — The Office of the Ombudsman has absolved former president Benigno Aquino III and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV of the treason and espionage charges filed against the two.

The said criminal complaints are relative to the alleged backchannel talks with China during the past administration over the tension in the West Philippine Sea due to disputed territories.

Through the 16-page resolution, the ombudsman said, no probable cause was found to prove the treason and espionage complaints.

The Ombudsman has explained that despite the territorial disputes, there is no war between the Philippines and China, therefore, no treason has been committed. — UNTV News & Rescue

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SC: Ombudsman Morales is entitled to full 7-year term

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 25th, 2018


Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales is entitled to a full seven-year term.

Voting unanimously, the Court dismissed the consolidated petitions challenging Morales’ stay in the position.

Citing Article 11, Section 11 of the 1987 Constitution And Republic Act 6770 Or The Ombudsman Act, the court stated that the Ombudsman is appointed to a full term of seven years without reappointment and not simply the unexpired portion of the predecessor.

The petitioners are claiming that Morales, who was appointed in 2011 following the resignation of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierez, should only serve until 2015 or remaining years of Gutierrez’ term. – Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue

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Alcala, face graft raps for garlic cartel scam

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 24th, 2018


Former Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala


MANILA, Philippines — Former Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, 20 garlic traders and other agriculture officials are facing graft charges over alleged garlic cartel scam.

Based on a statement released by the Office of the Ombudsman, the Department of Agriculture (DA) issued almost 9,000 import permits from 2010 to 2014, of which 5,000 were cornered by the Vendors Association of the Philippines, Inc. (VIEVA) chaired by Lilia Cruz.

In 2013, Alcala assigned Cruz as the chairperson of the National Garlic Action Team. The group was tasked to create policies in the production and supply of garlic.

Cruz also acted as the representative of the importers, facilitating the applications of garlic importation.

Investigators of the ombudsman have discovered that Alcala approved the release of importer permits amid suspension of the release order.

The resolution of the Ombudsman disclosed that VIEVA controlled the supply of garlic which resulted in price surges that ranged from P165-P170  per kilo in 2010-2013 to P260-400 per kilo in January to July 2014.

The Ombudsman also urged the dismissal of former Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) Director Clarito Barron, division chiefs Merle Palacpac and Luben Marasigan over grave misconduct.

The officials will not be allowed to hold any government positions and will not receive any retirement benefits. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue



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Ex-SAF chief sacked for plunder charges

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Former PNP-SAF Chief Benjamin Lusad

MANILA, Philippines — Former Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force (SAF) chief and police director for Integrated Police Operations – Southern Luzon Benjamin Lusad has been sacked for plunder charges.

This is after the Office of the Ombudsman filed graft complaints against the police officer.

The case was due to his failure to release funds of SAF daily subsistence allowance in 2016 and 2017.

“There are two officers involved and two non-commissioned officers. Yung nasa SAF na dalawang natitirang non-commissioned officers had already been relieved,” PNP PIO chief PCSupt. John Bulalacao.

(There are two officers and two non-commissioned officers involved. The two SAF non-commissioned officers have already been relieved from their posts.)

According to Bulalacao, SAF budget and fiscal officer SSupt. Andre Dizon and his staff, SPO2 Maila Salazar Bustamante and SPO1 James Rica, have also been dismissed from their positions.

The spokesman said this is to give way to the Ombudsman’s investigation.

Outgoing PNP chief has previously stated that he was not convinced by Lusad’s explanation on the issue.

“Sabi ko ng kailangang harapin nila yan. Andyan na ang kaso. Kinasuhan sila sa ombudsman. Harapin nila yan,” Dela Rosa said.

(I said they need to face it. There’s already a case. The ombudsman filed charges against them. Face the charges.)

Currently, the PNP comptroller is conducting investigation and audit over the unreleased allowances.

“Tama na ang dapat managot at may kinalaman, basta’t lumabas lang ang katotohanan.  Therefore the PNP will closely coordinate with the ombudsman,” the PNP spokesperson said.

(Enough already with the finger-pointing, as long as the truth comes out. The PNP, therefore, will closely coordinate with the ombudsman.)

The subsistence allowance is worth P30 a day or P900 per month.  An estimated P59.8-million worth of allowance has been delayed for two years. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue

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